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Creamy soups without cream.

Apples, squash, and yams get the credit

SMOOTH, HOT, AND soothing bowls of soup fit many menu niches on chilly days. These two soups have a sweet side that comes from apples, or yams and squash, balanced by tangy ingredients and spices to keep the taste refreshing and inviting.

Both soups are deceptive: the fruit and vegetables thicken the soups and give them an illusion of richness, yet the amount of fat is low, and the soups are quite satisfying. As a surprise, try the apple soup for breakfast with toast and sausages.

Apple Soup with Spiced Croutons

2 1/2 pounds tart apples

1 small (about 1/4 lb.) onion, chopped

5 cups regular-strength chicken broth

1 cup apple juice or cider

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon coriander seed

Thin apple slices (optional)

Spiced croutons (recipe follows)

Peel, core, and coarsely chop whole apples. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine chopped apples, onion, broth, apple juice, lemon peel, lemon juice, and coriander. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; simmer gently until apples are soft enough to mash easily, about 30 minutes. If making ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to 2 days.

Smoothly puree apple mixture, a portion at a time, in a blender or food processor. Return to pan and stir often on high heat until steaming, 3 to 4 minutes (6 to 8 minutes, if chilled). Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with apple slices and add croutons to taste. Makes 8 cups; 5 to 8 servings.

Per serving: 110 cal. (11 percent from fat); 1.8 g protein; 1.4 g fat (0.3 g sat.); 24 g carbo.; 36 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Spiced croutons. Cut half of a 1/2-pound baguette crosswise into 20 equally thick slices; reserve remaining bread for another use. Arrange slices on a 12-by 15-inch baking sheet. Evenly brush 1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine onto top of slices. Dust lightly with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

Bake in a 300 |degrees~ oven until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or cool; wrap cool croutons airtight and hold at room temperature up to 2 days. Per slice: 22 cal. (29 percent from fat); 0.5 g protein; 0.7 g fat (0.3 g sat.); 3.2 g carbo.; 40 mg sodium; 1.9 mg chol.

Squash and Yam Soup with Prosciutto

1 medium-size or 1 piece (about 1 3/4 lb.) butternut or other gold-flesh squash 2 large (about 1 3/4 lb. total) yams or sweet potatoes

7 cups regular-strength chicken broth

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin slivers

Cut off peel and discard seeds from squash; peel yams. Cut vegetables into 1-inch pieces and put into a 5- to 6-quart pan. Add broth, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and chilies. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; simmer gently until squash and yams are soft enough to mash easily, about 30 minutes. If making ahead, let cool, cover, and chill up to 2 days.

Smoothly puree soup mixture, a portion at a time, in a food processor or blender. Return to pan and stir often over high heat until steaming, about 5 minutes (about 10 minutes, if chilled).

Meanwhile, melt butter in an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and stir often until meat is lightly browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain on towels. Ladle soup into bowls; top equally with prosciutto. Makes about 12 cups; 6 to 9 servings.

Per serving: 205 cal. (19 percent from fat); 8 g protein; 4.4 g fat (1.7 g sat.); 34 g carbo.; 479 mg sodium; 15 mg chol.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Author:Hale, Christine Weber
Date:Feb 1, 1994
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